Manager Want To Term EE Because He Thinks She Will Quit With No Notice

We have an employee (receptionist position) who has been attending night school. Three days before she needed to start her externship (which she never told us about) she asked to work from 7am-11am M-F for 6 weeks.  Her boss was very upset that she gave us very little notice to accommodate her and the reason she gave was "well you always say no".  This isn’t true...he has approved other requests for time off in the past; it is just a little more difficult because of her position and limited people who can back up the position (which takes people from other depts. from their own work). We scrambled around to find coverage for her but her boss thinks that she is going to leave us after the externship with no notice so he wants to terminate her.  I personally asked her what her plans were after the externship and she said "the externship company doesn't have an opening for me so I will still work here."  I am in Florida which is an at-will state but I am concerned that we are not handling this properly.  Please help with any suggestions.  Thanks!<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


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  • "I want to fire her before she quits."

    Why?  What will that solve?

    If the company really wants to get rid of her, then don't accommodate her scheduling request and then enforce your attendance policy.  At least then you terminated her in accordance with your policy.  If her education is valuable, find a way to harness her skills to help the company.


    Every state in the union is an at-will state except, last I checked, maybe Montana.  At-will doctrine does not mean you can fire people and not end up with an expensive litigation resulting from trying to convince a jury that the company really fired her because it predicted she would quit without notice and not because she's not pretty enough to be a receptionist.  At-will doctrine does not mean your employment decisions cannot be questioned, but it does mean that a jury pool of people who have had jobs they didn't like and bosses they didn't like will determine the facts about your company's employment decisions.  Apply your policies evenly.  If you cannot reasonably accommodate her scheduling request because she gave you no time to do so, then don't accommodate it.  That is something everyone understands.  Firing her because the supervisor's crystal ball predicts she will leave without notice is not something everyone will understand or believe.  Also, remember, firing someone without notice leaves you in exactly the same position as the person quitting without notice: an unfilled role with no transition.

    Soothing the supervisor's ego by being the first to sever the relation is not a legitimate goal for the supervisor or the Company and I would take steps to prevent that from happening.

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